Mission & History

SANA Mission Statement

The Soyfoods Association of North America represents a diverse group united to increase consumption of soy-based foods and beverages.

SANA History

Steve Fiering, the host of the foundation meeting in Ann Arbor, pouring hot soymilk onto the cloth on top of a curding barrel in preparation for a demonstration of how to make tofu.

Founded on July 30, 1978 in Ann Arbor, Michigan by a group of over 70 entrepreneurs, the Soyfoods Association of North America has prospered into a first-rate association. Originally called the Soycrafters Association of North America, the association was created as an outlet to provide a joint forum for discussing industry issues as well as providing opportunities for joint promotional efforts. By 1983, 15 members voted to change the name of the association to the Soyfoods Association. By 1984, the Soyfoods Association officially became a non-profit organization with by-laws and a membership structure in place. Over the span of 40 years, the association has grown to more than 50 members. Currently, membership of SANA is comprised of large and small soyfoods manufacturers, growers and suppliers of soybeans, consulting firms, and academics. To reflect a growing international membership, in 1997 the association expanded upon its name and changed it to the Soyfoods Association of North America (SANA) which includes Soy 2020, the Canadian counterpart, and the Asociacion Mexicana de Alimentos de Soya, the Mexican counterpart. Soy Southern Africa (SSA) representing soyfood manufacturers from several countries in the southern Africa maintains membership in SANA.

In 40 years, SANA has achieved many accomplishments.

  • 1985-1986 developed tofu standards and submitted them to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • 1989-1992 organized the Soyfoods Pavilion at Natural Products Expo East and West.
  • 1996 adopted the Voluntary Standards for the Composition and Labeling of Soymilk in the United States
  • 1997 submitted a Citizen’s Petition to the FDA for the use of soymilk as a common or usual name on soy-based beverages meeting a voluntary standard.
  • 1997 established Soyfoods Month to promote soyfoods with media and food retailers.
  • 1999 requested successfully FDA to waive the fat limitation for health claims. allowing tofu, soymilk and other soyfoods that are naturally higher than the fat limit to carry the soy and heart disease health claim.
  • 2000 defended the use of soymilk to FDA, after challenge from the National Milk Producers Federation
  • 2000 launched the SANA web site, attracting steady traffic to Locating Products, Soyfoods Fact Sheets, and other consumer information
  • 2001 joined the United Soybean Board to host the 9th annual Soy and launched a video news release on the Soy Health Claim, attracting over 10 million viewers
  • 2002 introduced members of Congress to soyfoods through gift boxes delivered to offices on Capitol Hill
  • 2003 celebrated its 25th anniversary of SANA with a grand party, Soyfoods Come of Age, in Washington, DC with some of the organization’s founders.
  • 2004 secured an opening in the National Child Nutrition Act for non-dairy alternatives, such as calcium-fortified soymilk, to be offered to children who don’t drink milk and advocated for inclusion of soyfoods in the Dietary Guidelines, a proposed Food Guidance System, and Reformulating the WIC Food Package.
  • 2005 produced and released a Video News Release on soy and obesity that reached about 12 million people nationwide.
  • 2007 redesigned www.soyfoods.org to be more user-friendly and distributed Feel Alive! brochures on soy and cholesterol to 10,000 dietitians.
  • 2008 published an evidence-based review by experts in Obesity Reviews that found soy protein is equal to other protein sources for promoting weight loss and satiety.
  • 2009 partnered with USB the 14th Soy Symposium, Soy: New Horizons that attracted 91 domestic and international industries and domestic and international soybean groups.
  • 2009 relaunched the National Soyfoods Month, sponsored FMI meeting breakfast and publicly commented on FDA review of soy and heart health claim, on soyfoods in 2010 Dietary Guidelines, and soyfoods in USDA reimbursed school meals.
  • 2010 presented on School Nutrition Association webinar on Soyfoods in School Meals and hosted tasting of soy-based foods at US Department of Agriculture main building.
  • 2010 partnered with USB for the 15th Soy Symposium: Adapting to New Market Forces in Washington, DC with 84 attendees from several federal and local agencies, media, nutrition organizations, universities, food industry, and soybean groups.
  • 2011 soyfoods were identified as foods to eat more of in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and included in the Dairy Group of the new food guidance, MyPlate, which also featured soyfoods in the Protein Group and soybeans and edamame in the Vegetable Group.
  • 2011 USDA issued final rule that included soyfoods from whole beans as part of the meat and meat alternates and restate the inclusion of other soy meat alternates and fortified soymilk in a reimbursable school breakfast or lunch.
  • 2012 released Soy and Performance Video Series with top online nutritionist and trainer, Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, LD, to develop 4 video series for children, elite athletes, fit adults and active seniors.
  • 2013 partnered with USB to conduct the 16th Soy Symposium, Exploring New Applications and Products with Soy, as a short course at the annual IFT meeting in Chicago.
  • 2013 launched Myth Busting Campaign to clarify any lingering inaccuracies about soyfoods.
  • 2014 partnered with the Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition and the NSCA Personal Trainers Conference to educate on the role of soy-based foods and beverages in performance, muscle recovery, and well-being.
  • 2017 Defended the FDA-authorized soy protein heart health claim 
  • 2017 Shifted communications campaign from myth-busting to highlighting the incredible benefits of soyfoods through the “Soy Reality” series.  
  • 2017 SANA leads effort to force the Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency to withdraw a proposed ban of soy protein ingredients. 
  • July 30, 2018 – SANA marks its 40th Anniversary